Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG) notebook

A well-built, but basic Sony 17in notebook

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Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG)
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Reasonable price-tag
  • Good build quality and design

Cons

  • Keyboard should be larger
  • A Full HD screen would have been nice
  • Slightly bland styling may turn off some

Bottom Line

Sony's VAIO E Series notebooks are intended for general purpose use, and the VPCEJ15FG fulfils that requirement happily. If you're trying to complete too many tasks at once the E Series does tend to pause for a few seconds, but we only encountered this a few times in our testing. For use in a small business or home office, or as a desktop replacement for a university or high school student (sans 3D gaming), the Sony VAIO E is a surprisingly affordable choice.

Would you buy this?

The very graphics intensive 3DMark 11 was much harder on the Sony VAIO E (VPCEJ15FG), producing a performance figure of P469. This poor result is due to the basic graphics adapter in the VAIO E, which is a Geforce 410M — it’s more than powerful enough for basic Windows prettiness and older 3D games or 3D applications, but benchmarking apps like 3DMark 11 or newer 3D games will bring it to its knees.

See how the Sony VAIO E Series compares to other 2011 notebooks in our performance chart.

When we were setting up the VAIO E Series for our testing — installing four or five programs, transferring data from an external hard drive, and tweaking a few Windows settings while lazily browsing the Internet — we did manage to get the laptop to pause for a few seconds on a few instances. A more powerful laptop with a quad-core processor, a faster hard drive and more RAM wouldn’t have had this problem, but given the generally quick recovery of the VAIO E and the intensive nature of what we were doing we’re not too fussed with these moments of freezing.

The battery of the Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG) notebook is rated to last up to 3 hours by Sony. In our battery torture test we halved that — 1hr 24min with a DiVX video file playing at full brightness. These wildly differing results are largely due to the differences in screen brightness — Sony’s testing is done at minimum brightness with Wi-Fi off, and ours has a maximum brightness display with Wi-Fi on and connected. Think of ours as a worst case scenario and Sony’s as the best. You can buy an optional battery for the Sony VAIO E Series with double the life.

Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG) notebook: Conclusion

The Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG) doesn’t carry the same price tag as the Sonys of yesteryear, which is a refreshing change. It is still more expensive than similar products from cheaper, cut-price brands like Acer and Medion. With its middling $1199 RRP and reasonable performance figures backed up by solid build quality, we’d have no problem recommending the Sony VAIO E Series for an everyday user.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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